Desperately Seeking Happiness…


I don’t know about you, but there are more opinions on finding happiness than there are stars in the sky. Some suggest that you turn your focus to yourself, prioritize yourself and choose yourself first. Others promote gratitude as the answer. A majority report it comes from doing the things you love. Many say that happiness is not a destination you reach, but rather something that occurs along the journey. Some offer that happiness is found in favorable circumstances. Indeed there are a multitude of theories and ideas, but do they really work? Can you find the happiness you so desperately seek?

There are few things you can directly control in life. Circumstances change, people change, events ebb and flow. Some days you are on top of the world, other days nothing seems right. At times you feel totally in control and other times completely out of control. Try as you might, control as much as you can, take no risks, choose maximum safety and still things go wrong; sometimes disastrously wrong. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are a good person or a bad person, though we like to assume that bad people have it coming. Yet, bad things happen to good people as well. So, what is it? What are you supposed to do?

The only thing you can have total control of is your mind. Often the missing key lies in what you choose to do with your mind. I don’t mean you should try to be happy when things are going bad for you. No, that’s not realistic or reasonable. I’m talking more about your mindset. What is your default mindset? What do you think about when no-one is watching? What thoughts, ideas and expectations are you rehearsing in your head? Do you even know? Or have you bought into the crazy idea that your mind thinks and concludes with or without your permission? It’s sort of like when people say they can’t shut their minds off in order to go to sleep. I’m here to testify that you can turn your mind off or better quiet it down, once you begin to learn how to control your mind. Happiness is a result of consistently controlling your mind.

Think about the times in your life when you felt happy and blessed. Maybe it was a family vacation or on your wedding day or when you graduated from college. Was it really the vacation in the tropics that made you happy or was it your anticipation and expectation? I would suggest it is the latter. There are many folks living in the tropics that aren’t working and are free to play who are miserable still! Why? Because of their negative expectation. How many people do you know who are always waiting for their happiness as if it is on a train and they are awaiting its arrival? They are waiting to be happy. They feel that once such and such happens they will finally be happy. Maybe when they get the money or the job or the perfect spouse, maybe then the happiness will follow. In the interim, they remain suspended, waiting and waiting for some circumstance to finally line up or for their lucky break to at last arrive. You see, there are 260 workdays in a year, but only 52 Saturdays if you get my drift. That’s a lot of waiting…

There is a far better strategy than waiting! The best plan of action, yes action, is found in choosing to be happy right now, no matter what your circumstances are promoting as reality. Being enthusiastic and optimistic, indeed expecting good things is a function of your mind. The action is to control your thinking. Stop being run about from pillar to post being blown about with every wind of doctrine. Stop basing your happiness on what things look like! Stop waiting and hoping and wishing and just decide to be happy. You might not have recognized it before but it is the same thing you did the last time you felt happy, only you assigned your happiness to the pleasant circumstances. You don’t need pleasant circumstances to feel happy. All you need is to control what you are thinking and when your thinking goes south, as it necessarily must, you have to change your mind. Your feelings, those great natural barometers, are simply responding to your thoughts. It’s not magic or predestination, good luck or bad luck. It’s not some mysterious force outside of you picking you for one or the other. It’s you, my friend, and what you are doing with your mind…

Allowing your thoughts to default to your experience and taking life as it comes is a recipe for misery. The world we live in is fraught with negativity. Letting your thoughts run where they wish will lead you down the rabbit hole of mental defeat. Instead your solution, God’s solution for you, is for you to take charge of that unruly mind and line it up with the things you actually want. You line it up! You control it! You make it get in line with the life you so desperately seek and then experience the joy of seeing it coming to pass. Do you know why life works so well for some people? Because they expect it to and you don’t have to look any deeper than that. Do you know how to get blessed by God? Become blessed first and then the blessings will follow. Stop waiting on God. God is waiting on you!

The ability to control your mind is one of the greatest things God ever did for you. It is His solution in a world that seems chaotic and out of control. There’s no need to beg God to change your life around. You change your life around by changing your thoughts around, not later on when it looks favorable, but now in the midst of whatever! When the negative thoughts come, recognize them and change them. And, if you really want to excel, if you want to tap into the abundant life, instead of the ordinary life, then find some positive promise of God that counters your negativity and change your mind to that! Say that, rehearse that, announce that, claim that! Soon you’ll find your happiness increasing exponentially…

Are you desperately seeking happiness in your life? Have you already tried all the theories? Learn to focus and control your thinking. Decide first you are going to be blessed and enthusiastic and happy. Decide it right now today in this moment and keep deciding it though all hell should try to drag you back down. Don’t spend another second waiting… Your feelings follow your thoughts and you are in charge of your thoughts! Be happy…

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

 

Advertisements

Controlling Yourself to Happiness…


UnknownThe paradox of all paradoxes occurs when something that appears contraindicated leads to exactly what you are looking for in life. Happiness, often maligned and dismissed or over-exalted and worshipped, is found in control, not in letting loose; in reigning in, not in unbridling; in checks and balances, not in removing the boundaries. The good life demands you take charge of yourself. Control yourself to happiness…

I submit that the part of life you have failed to control, for whatever reason, is the primary contributing cause of your difficulties and your struggles. Corruption and deterioration have to find a way in and exist only when allowed or invited. Decay follows that which is not maintained and control is that maintenance. The let loose life (and believe me I’ve spent too much time there) let’s loose both fun and pain. But, the pain always exceeds the fun in unfulfilled life and pervasive unhappiness. Sure, there is always a balance with religion being the polar opposite of ungoverned anarchy. Religion adds in checks where there are no checks and limitations imposed not for future bliss but for the intended misery of the occupant. Too much control strips life of its variety and blessings ever pointing the one controlled to his own lack and deficiencies. Religion is not control but rather a fear induced and fear motivated attempt at escaping something thus far imagined or experienced, yet not producing a remedy but instead more fear! The control that leads to happiness is never found there.

Thought allowed to run rampant whithersoever it leads is the bane of man’s existence. It repudiates order and stands in active defiance to the system God designed for man. It results in a misery then blamed on God, though encouraged and endorsed by the individual. No wonder as the message of the world is ever “all is to be welcomed” and all may be experienced. While all things are lawful for me, all things are not expedient. Though God has made free to do as I please, rotten and painful results help shape my future decisions. Thus control is not engendered as a response to fear but rather as a humble attempt at locating what is best. Just as joy encourages perseverance towards the goal, control promises liberty and happiness days with no end.

The question is not what is wrong with you but rather what category or categories of your life have you let go? What do you love so much that you over indulge in it? What vices  have long since replaced problem solving or have promised peace by soothing and numbing? What thing pops up over and over and over as a lesson unengaged? If you are unhappy there is such a thing, promising you liberty yet putting chains on your soul. Controlling yourself isn’t arduous, refusing to is. Control is nothing more than the discipline required to compete successfully. Once disqualified you’re no longer eligible for the prize. Get the prize!

I have proven to myself as the ultimate fun lover and pleasure seeker that the more I loose the restraints the more restrained I have become. Yet the simple application of a diet or commitment to exercise or a sustained abstinence from some thing, the happier I have become in increased proportion to my efforts. Yet my happiness hasn’t followed some grand morality or complete change of being, but following instead some small discipline I’m quite capable of achieving. Thus the lesson is clear, check and balance that which you can check and balance and enjoy the unchecked blessings that accompany.

The starting point for you in your quest is to locate an area, decided by you and never by another, that you can apply some discipline to, such as “no more of this thing on the weekdays” or “no sugar for three weeks” or “3 times per week at the gym no matter what!” Do so and you will find that not only do you immediately begin to feel better following your decision, but that the small decision starts to transcend into other categories of your life. It’s as if God cannot get you to step 7 until you have at least begun with step 1 and persisted through steps 4, 5, and 6.

The happy fellow or happy gal you have been observing with eyes askant will, almost as sure as the sun coming up tomorrow, already be engaged in this process applying limits as required and learned. It’s a mark of human maturity and seems hard to learn without having lived on the other side. Just as a child flitters from place to place with unbridled happiness, will also eat the whole bag of M&M’s to their stomach’s demise. It takes years lived to finally see, if you ever see, that control is not only expected but required.

Take the reigns of your own life and leave no aspect of yourself in the hands of another! Let no good thing be relegated to chance and circumstance. Instead of railing and screeching at the conditions of your life, control yourself and those things applicable directly to you. If it is yours, address it. If you own it, care for it. If you’re responsible to steward it, guard it and keep it and watch over it! Your body like your car can run a long time with little maintenance but when it dies it is really dead! But, a little care applied here and there and most issues are simply resolved. Discipline is a choice and a lack of discipline is also a choice. Choose wisely!

In short my friends, “Be the boss of your own butt” and see if you don’t have the best ‘glutes’ in town!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Just Another Blog on Finding Happiness…


shutterstock_125387081

Of late it has become more and more apparent that many of our notions of finding happiness don’t really lead to happiness at all. Happiness isn’t some target destination you can reach or some feeling you can acquire by your determination to think about being happy. In fact, the consideration and contemplation of happiness seems to cancel out its positive effect. And while happiness is greatly influenced by your thinking it generally comes more from doing than from thinking at all…

There is, I’m sad to report, such a thing as too much thinking. This modern-day notion we have learned from the self-help, motivation and positivity age is that we somehow have to closely monitor our thoughts and then quickly change every thought over into a positive one. On the surface, this all sounds fine and dandy. However, when you stop your thinking and subsequent doing in order to evaluate and monitor, you sort of cease being and switch over to evaluating or judging. Now you, as yourself, are looking at yourself and making a determination about yourself. And, how often are those self-focused, interior judgments good? Constantly checking in on yourself to see if you are okay is counterproductive to being okay.

Have you ever been completely absorbed in something like work and noticed how good you felt afterwards? Generally, it seems, the more focused you are in the present moment and what it is you are doing in the present moment, the better you feel. In these moments of ecstasy and bliss you don’t have to turn on your mental oven monitor to check if your happiness is ready. It just is and you have the pleasure of enjoying it. How many times have you been worried about some scenario and just couldn’t get it out of your head? That is until you decide to mow the lawn and voila, just like that you feel better! Sure these are simple examples, but they do point to an awareness that the best use of our minds is to accompany the activity we are engaged in, in the moment called now.

The polar opposite of simply being and doing is thinking and thinking and thinking. No-one’s life ever got better from over-thinking and analyzing and judging. Yet, we engage in it as if it is a responsible way to behave. The result of it is always “to do” lists for self-improvement and/or decisions to get up earlier, read more, drink less and the like. Hidden behind those noble efforts of goal setting and life betterment lies a subtle message that you are not okay just as you are. In the same way that religion questions your worthiness before God to control you and get your money, the self-help industry offers to improve you and make you okay as long as you buy the book, attend the seminar and buy another book! How can anyone ever simply “be happy” if they live perpetually in a state of “I’m not okay?”

In truth, it’s not the analysis that is the issue, it’s the judgment. It seems a person is the happiest when they can choose for themselves what they will and will not do. How many people really do what they want to do? Things are always modified and changed to fit in, be accepted, please him and satisfy her. We spend our days in anxiety ever trying to live up to some rules that someone else set-up for us to live. We don’t trust ourselves and our judgment and thereby severely curtail our own happiness. Our minds become chock full of things we should do, shouldn’t do and must do! It might be okay if we determined what those things are, but most often we are still living out someone else’s rules for acceptability. Don’t you just love and admire the people who do what they want to do and are not ashamed of it? Happy is the man who doesn’t condemn himself for the things he enjoys! Indeed, happy is the man…

The essence of finding happiness is not in looking for happiness at all. Rather it is choosing to live in the moment, enjoying your choice of activities, accepting yourself just as you are and doing your own life! It’s in making plans and pursuing dreams. It’s in being fully present with the people you love. It’s in flexibility, spontaneity and whim! It’s in getting out of your own head while refusing to judge yourself, analyze yourself or berate yourself. It’s in finally choosing to live your life rather than choosing only to think about it and judge it.

Happiness isn’t elusive or hiding from you. Rather it is waiting for you to let go of all of your controls and ideas and simply let yourself be. It’s all around you waiting for you to notice its presence. It’s at your job, in your home, in the yard and at the store. It’s in each moment of life spent doing and being and living. It’s hoping you will set aside all of your judgments and comparisons and analysis long enough to notice, “I’m here” and “How happy I feel!”

Just another blog on finding happiness…